Volker Gerdts new head of VIDO-InterVac at University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Volker Gerdts is taking over from Andrew Potter as director and CEO of VIDO-InterVac at the University of Saskatchewan. Supplied / VIDO-InterVac University of Saskatchewan

VIDO-InterVac has a new director and CEO. Dr. Volker Gerdts, the organization’s current associate director of research, will take over his new duties on Jan. 1, 2019.

READ MORE: Dr. Andrew Potter stepping down as head of VIDO-Intervac

Karen Chad, the University of Saskatchewan’s vice-president of research, said Gerdts appointment is a reflection of his contributions during his 18 years at the centre.

“With his vision, passion for research and leadership skills honed during 18 years of outstanding work at VIDO-InterVac, Volker is well equipped to advance the organization — one of Canada’s top scientific centres — to another level of excellence and global leadership,” Chad said in a statement.

Gerdts has led a number of projects over the years, including developing and testing a vaccine for porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, a viral disease in pigs.

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He said he intends to advance VIDO-InterVac’s scientific excellence and make the centre a premiere research institution.

“VIDO-InterVac truly is a global leader,” Gerdts said.

“With some of the best minds and most advanced infrastructure in the world, we have the opportunity to make VIDO-InterVac the world’s premiere research institute for emerging diseases.”

READ MORE: New cattle vaccine in Africa developed in part by Saskatoon’s VIDO-InterVac

VIDO-InterVac has commercialized eight vaccines, and has two more in commercial development.

Gerdts first joined VIDO-InterVac in 1998 as a post-doctoral fellow. He was hired as a research scientist in 2002 and named associate director in 2007.

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He takes over from Andrew Potter, who announced in July he was stepping down after leading the facility for 11 years.

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